|Advanced Driver Training|
October 5-6 we held our first joint Advanced Driver Training in cooperation with the BMW Club of Canada Trillium Chapter. The event was held at the Canadian Tire Mosport track and is a choice location for a performance oriented driving experience. BMW Trillium has been holding driving schools for several years and provided us with a well-organized and structured event; in fact it is well recognized and was sold out by early September.On Saturday morning after registration the safety briefing starts at
8:00 sharp. Everybody’s safety and enjoyment depends on a thorough understanding of the rules, respective flag signaling and behavior on the track. The briefing ends with a tradition “promising our cars that we will bring the home in the same shape in which they arrived” …okay with exception of tire and brake wear 🙂
The attendance are grouped by experience into 4 categories namely novice (C), intermediate (B), advanced (A) and individual (I). All students with exception of the “I” group gets a driving teacher assigned that will team up for the whole weekend and will be in the passenger seat during all “on track” activities. This allows for a one-to-one training program and for continuous improvement with every practice run. The schedule provided everybody with a start of in-class lessons including rules, driving strategies, track specifics and the practical application of car dynamics. These would be followed by track sessions and exercises.
Harald and Joyce started in the C group but quickly Harald with all his experience was moved to the B group joining Gerald and Peter. With 3 Benzes and 1 Audi we joined a diverse group of cars from Toyotas and Subarus through a wide range of BMWs and Porsches up to including a set of Vipers and Ferraris.
Saturday was a nice October day mild enough to not fret the upcoming season and perfect performance driving. With every session control, confidence and feel for the car improve and respective performance increases.
Mosport is a challenging and fast track; challenging enough that finesse and experience can far outperform raw power. It is considered a 10 corner track with a couple of longer straights allowing for some power plays. Gaining sensation to the various aspects such as the proper line and using brakes and power to balance the car is the key asset when going through corners while the long straight up the hill was exhilarating to allow the engine to pump out all it can. Not to worry though, the teacher is there not just to guide but also pull you back in case the adrenaline got the better of you.
On Saturday at the end of the day there was a track walk to understand some of the more intricacies of the asphalts we were driving often with some anecdotes of the past. We paid respects in the ash spreading ceremony for very active motor sport member Frank Gray as these were his wishes. All followed by a pleasant dinner served at the new Mosport Event centre.
Sunday the weather turned to rain and fog which slowed the driving and added some new skills. On the wet track we not only had less traction but much less consistency. A new line and exploring the difference sto new lines became part of the learning. Feeling and looking for consistent track patterns was as important as sensing the overall mechanical traction.
When the fog settled for a while delays in the schedule were inevitable. While some packed and went home it all cleared in the mid afternoon and allowed us to finish the day with enough track time to complete a fulfilling experience. We all drove home tired but with big smiles on our faces.
The motto often repeated reflects that the best performance investment is not ECU tune, better flowing exhaust or even a whole car upgrade but in your own skills.
We hope to see more of you coming out in our next event in the spring next year. There are 4 co-op Advanced Driving Schools planned for next year in addition to our Safe Driving event that is already pinned down for May 2014.
Anybody interested in performance and driving events please feel free to contact me with comments and options for discussions.
Your Sports Director, Peter Spitzer